Z is for Zipper

Some inventions have been around so long that one tends to forget that, once upon a time, somebody actually created it, and there was a time when the item did not exist. So it is with the zipper. From the Wikipedia: “A zipper, zip, or zip fastener, is a commonly used device for binding the edges of an opening of fabric or other flexible material, as on a garment or a bag… It was invented by Gideon Sundbäck circa 1917 based on prior less effective fasteners, but many others have made improvements and different versions of the device.”

However, as About.com notes: “Elias Howe, who invented the sewing machine received a patent in 1851 for an ‘Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.’ Perhaps it was the success of the sewing machine, which caused Elias not to pursue marketing his clothing closure. As a result, Howe missed his chance to become the recognized ‘Father of the Zip.'”

Others developed alternates, but none were viable, commercially and mechanically, until the Sundback model.

Here’s an Amazon citation to Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty by Robert D. Friedel.

I remember watching the June 20, 2010 episode of CBS Sunday Morning, which had a piece about the zipper.

My wife, if I should have my pants zipper not all the way closed, will say to me, “XYZ,” which means eXamine Your Zipper.

The word zipper does have alternative references, to meanings in transportation, entertainment and other uses. My personal favorite is Zipper Harris, the nephew of Zonker, in the Doonesbury cartoon newspaper strip.
Apropos of not much: this is is my 3000th blogpost to Ramblin’ with Roger. I’m much more into chronological thresholds than numerical ones. But there it is.

ABC Wednesday – Round 11

28 thoughts on “Z is for Zipper”

  1. I didn’t think of zipper for Z words. That happens a lot with the harder letters. I’ll read someone’s post and think, why didn’t I think of that one.


  2. Your illustration is fantastic with ztupendous info on the zipper. You’re right about how we totally take for granted our everyday items in life these days.

    abcw team


  3. Congratulations…3,000 you do have a lot to say (LOL) and it is always interesting! There are weeks where I get my post in under the wire, wracking my brain for an idea. I am no where near 3,000 (I have written just over 200) and hope I reach this milestone as gracefully and (seemingly) effortlessly as you have.

    I look forward to Round 12.


  4. Ha Ha Ha XYZ….Wish I had known that code!! Years ago when my husband was on the platform ready to preach his sermon, I notice the deacon next to him had the zipper open on his trousers. I passed a note to my husband, and the deacon, discreeted left the platform by the back door. (Never to return….haha ~ No, he did returned all Zipped up!!!!HaHa. Hadn’t thought of that story in years…


  5. I agree with Meryl: you have always what tell that is interesting! Thank you for entering my name. At this moment internet is back, but.. it can go the next moment.


  6. Wow, congratulations on 3000 posts. That’s quite an accomplishment.
    I have heard and used the XYZ before but never actually knew what it stood for. Duh!! I guess I need to think a bit more…(:0)


  7. 3,000 Well done Roger! I have just ordered my 6th Blog Book from Blogs2print Six years. Never thought I’d be still at it. I love the info on the zipper. I like finding out about something we all take for granted. How about pull-top cans? They’re not as old, but very handy.


  8. I dont think I’ve given much thought ever about zippers. We do not appreciate what a great convenience they are. I really love the XYZ comment-I will probably borrow that one.


  9. We were XYZ people too… but I usually say, “The barn door’s open!” Love the history here, as always, something new to learn. You and Berowne are my best sources of interesting detail. If only my mind was not a steel sieve, I’d remember more. Nothing else to say. Zilch. Zip! Amy


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